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Startup Essentials: Online Resources for Startup Struggles

Starting a company comes with a mind-boggling set of challenges – from selecting a location to hiring employees. But if you’re an entrepreneur facing these issues, there are several online resources that can cure many of your ails.

You have to clear plenty of hurdles before you ever even open the doors, and you’ll run across even more problems as you establish your company and work on growth. But these sites can help you overcome several common startup struggles.

Finding Financing: Financing is one of the first things many small businesses need to acquire so they can turn on the lights. But it doesn’t stop there – at various points throughout the growth cycle, you’ll likely need to reach out for more capital to keep taking the next step, and the next. At the very least, you might need to take on small-business debt for improvements or to complete a major project.

Unsurprisingly, the Small Business Administration’s website is one of the top places to look at the onset. While the SBA doesn’t actually provide loans itself, it partners with lenders and micro-lenders to help reduce their risks, and in turn, small businesses have easier access to capital, and on better terms than they would otherwise get. But several other websites can help you access capital, too. For instance, Fundera helps small business owners compare options from numerous loan providers, while Kabbage directly provides funding to companies and even offers an app to help you manage your money.

Hiring: Hiring is a bear for companies of any size, but small businesses have their own set of extra challenges, including stacking up well against bigger competition. Whether you’re looking to grow your in-house team or just need independent contractors to fill a few needs, there are numerous online resources that can help.

Everyone should be familiar with job sites such as LinkedIn, Monster.com and Glassdoor, which allow individuals to seek out work but also allow hiring companies to display job ads and evaluate candidates. But a few lesser-known sites might be just as (if not more) helpful. Workable, for instance, allows users to post across several job sites, track applicants, build a “Talent Pool” and more using its suite of tools. Underdog.io focuses on tech-centric startups, doing a lot of the legwork such as evaluating candidates and even ranking them to take time off entrepreneurs’ plates. And iCIMS, which serves small businesses, not only helps you find recruits … but even helps you onboard them.

Accounting: Most entrepreneurs want to spend their time growing their businesses, not balancing the books … but they also can’t necessarily justify shelling out the money it takes to hire a full-time accountant when the company is in its nascent stages. That said, there are oodles of software and apps that can help even accounting novices – Quickbooks, Freshbooks and Sage among them.

That said, if you don’t want to bury your head in accounting software, you don’t have to. You have choices. Namely, you can get the expertise of an accounting pro without actually hiring one full-time. The specialists at McManamon & Co. provide comprehensive accounting services, including creating financial statements, offering guidance … and even performing training when you’re ready to hire staff. Call us at 440.892.9088 or contact us online if your budding business needs a helping hand.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final installation of a multi-post series dealing with decisions and tasks startup businesses face when getting off the ground. Check out the other articles in this series here: first installment, second installmentthird installment, fourth installment, and fifth installment.

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